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Streaming Shows Nearly Doubled in Last Year, Boosting Los Angeles TV Production

Television production in Los Angeles has received a major boost from streaming shows, according to a new report from the permitting organization FilmLA.

The number of new digital projects nearly doubled between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 development cycles, increasing approximately 85.3% in a year. The number of digitally distributed original series in production has increased by 2,300% from the 2010-11 season.

“The impact that digital streaming services are having on television production continues to be substantial,” the 2019 Television Report said. “This category has experienced the most rapid growth in television content for both new projects and live-action scripted series.”

The report also noted that as the number of digital series in production climbs, the number of “straight to series” orders are also on the rise. In 2018-19, a total of 100 new shows were ordered straight to series, including four broadcast, 26 cable and 70 digital projects. A total of 51% of the new projects ordered went straight to series in the 2018-19 cycle compared to 36% in 2017-18.

The report also showed that California continues to dominate as the leading destination for new projects on broadcast, cable and digital platforms. For the 2018-19 cycle, 205 of the 465 tracked series were produced in California, yielding a 44% hike in
market share for the period.

“This report finally allows us to uncover where digital production makes the most economic impact,” said FilmLA president Paul Audley. “Any jurisdiction fortunate enough to serve as a backdrop to these projects is positioned to do well.”

The report also found that new production was up 23.3% from the 2017-18 season in California, with 36.7% of all new projects being filmed in the Golden State (28 one-hour and 44 half-hour). For new projects, California’s top competitors are New York (with 29 projects), British Columbia (with 24 projects) and Georgia (with 20 projects).

More than a year ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an extension of California’s production tax credit program for five years beyond its 2020 expiration, with $1.6 billion in credits. The program more than tripled in size in 2014 to $330 million annually to compete effectively with incentives in New York and Georgia. The program, which provides credits of up to 25% of production spending, is overseen by the state’s film commission, which selects TV shows and movies partly based on the number of jobs created.

In March, Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” became the 16th television series to relocate to California. The show has been allocated $24.7 million in tax credits. Films covered under the program include Disney’s “Captain Marvel,” Paramount’s “Bumblebee” and Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James.

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